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Seminary dean to aircraft enthusiasts: Pilots reflect God’s precision in Je

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary academic dean Jim Cogdill is finding new ways to share Christ in the school’s community — even if it means relating propeller-driven aircraft to the message of the incarnation. A pilot with more than 1,000 flying hours, Cogdill spoke of God’s redemptive plan at a Christmas meeting of propeller airplane enthusiasts in the Kansas City, Mo., area.
“You don’t want a pilot who just comes close to the runway. You want a pilot who is very precise,” Cogdill told fellow members of Save-A-Connie Inc., a volunteer not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of propeller-driven transport aircraft. “God was very precise on that first Christmas day. When he came into the world, he knew exactly what he was doing. He had an exact plan and he followed it. That’s why we can trust God with our lives.”
The guest speaker at the Dec. 12 meeting, Cogdill also recounted his own experience as a pilot, when he and his wife, Debbie, also a pilot, used their Cessna 150 to fly to Simpson, Ill., from Louisville, Ky., when he was a student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. An airstrip belonging to the U.S. Forest Service, located directly beside Simpson Baptist Church, became a weekly target for the young pastor and his wife.
As Save-A-Connie’s newest member, Cogdill was given a tour of the group’s museum and the restored “Star of America” Super Constellation N6937C. The fully restored airplane was originally designed for Howard Hughes and sports a triple tail (to fit Hughes’ personal hanger), 600-gallon tip tanks on the wings for long-range flights and first-class accommodations for movie stars and other celebrities.
“If you think you have problems when you work on your car, you should try working on this engine,” tour guide Charlie Horstmann said, referring to the aircraft’s 3350 Wright 18-cylinder double-radial engine. “It has 36 spark plugs.”
As a member of Save-A-Connie, Cogdill will take his turn helping to repair and restore the passenger plane and will participate in flying it at air shows. More importantly, he hopes to continue to share the gospel message through his participation.

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  • Ingrid Patterson